Saturday, March 17, 2012
Happy St. Patrick's Day
May the blessing of the Irish be upon you this day.
For my family this holiday always marked a huge event, for all of my grandparents came from Ireland and today I thought I'd share some about my dad's family.
Much of the details are sketchy and dates are uncertain but the legends we grew up with are family treasures. My father was a talented writer and as I quote from our family history I feel like I could be reading one of the great authors of his time.
"Bit of Heaven fell and they called it Ireland. The Isle of Enchantment, Isle of Saints and Scholars, the Isle of song and laughter, the Isle often enshrouded in mist overcast with grey billowing clouds was and is the Isle of joy and sorrow, of hunger and poverty but proudly displaying a zest for life, a respect and awe of the Leprechaun, and devout respect for holy things."
My grandmother was a lover of songs and had a fine voice; born in Kilkenny in one of the many small towns or districts. She was mild tempered, fair, a wonderful mother and person. She loved all sports. My grandfather was also born in Kilkenny, a County of strong men, physically and mentally, fair of complexion with a golden red cast and a powerful man with a barrel chest, short powerful legs and shoulders; he stood 6 ft plus and 220+ lbs. When he was approximately 13 yrs old, he was on a champion football team in Ireland. Apparently some of his feats were quite like Hercules and were verified by people(and old newspaper clippings) who witnessed them. Another time a horse kicked him in the arm way up by his shoulder and the horse actually broke his leg and had to be put down but my grandfather only had a gash on his arm. Among other things my grandfather loved the "drink" and would indulge in moderation, but with his size his moderation probably would have killed someone smaller. Once he immigrated to San Francisco he did various jobs~shoveling coal on the docks, worked as a railroad policeman, a laborer building cannon mounts in the Presidio and as a security watchman on the waterfront. He was well known and respected, not only in the Irish community but also in all of the docks of San Francisco.
My own father was a loyal faithful friend, giving to all who were in need. He was a renowned story teller and cherished family above all else. Each year on St. Patty's Day he would send my mother a bouquet of green carnations and she was the envy of many. He had a wonderful voice and was quite handsome and very similar in looks to Fred Astaire. He was a poet at heart and always left us little notes sharing his love with us.
My only sibling now is my dear brother and as we get older I cherish him more. He is so much like my father; his sense of humor and teasing ways reminds me always of dad. In many ways, he bears the resemblance of my mom as well~her work ethic and business sense. I am blessed by quite an inheritance-not of money but of character, wit and Irish legacy.
So it is today that we look upon our heritage with fond recollections and partake of the food our parents and their parents did-Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potato's, Carrots. We won't all be gathering together but we'll be together in spirit.
Happy St. Patrick's Day from my home to yours.
This is a post from last year; again I wish you Happy St. Patrick's Day. May you count your blessings this day and find true gold in all that you have been given.